A few weeks ago, I may have been a little too quick to declare this as the most wonderful time of the year. Truth is – I’m already beginning to suffer from Dallas Cowboys withdrawal. Like many of you, my season ends when the Cowboys stop playing.
If 52% of Cowboy Nation and 38% of NFL fans that despise the Cowboys ignored the Super Bowl, the game would have had 5,381 viewers worldwide (give or take 10%).
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The thing that should excite us is how great the Cowboys off season was last year. In my opinion, it was the best offseason in a decade and signs indicate that it will only get better. For years, I begged the Cowboys to draft from NCAA Division 1 football powerhouses and it seemed Will McClay and the scouting department finally listened. My message remains the same – “Don’t look for diamonds in the rough, look for diamonds at diamond mines.”
In 2014, the Cowboys drafted from: Notre Dame, Boise State, Iowa, Stanford, Baylor, Oregon, Texas Tech, Northern Illinois and Pittsburgh. In prior years, there’s no way the Cowboys select Anthony Hitchens in the fourth round. We would’ve been the team drafting players from Lindenwood University, Liberty University or Bloomsburg University instead of Iowa.
Yes, there’s talent spread across the nation – my quarterback is an undrafted free agent from Eastern Illinois. It’s also possible that a future Super Bowl MVP quarterback could be bagging your groceries each week. Just remember though, there’s a reason this is the exception, more than the norm.
Another key to the Cowboys success was smart spending on free agents. Jason Garrett preaches against developing guys for other teams. That doesn’t mean he won’t campaign for Owner / GM Jerry Jones to sign players that other teams have developed.
They have to be the “Right Kind of Guy”, which means high character with limited off the field issues, high motor that finishes plays, coachable and available at the right price. I want to mention age, but the Cowboys signed defensive ends Anthony Spencer and Jeremy Mincey at 31. Ideally, you want to make the roster younger and experienced at the same time.
Speaking of the “Right Kind of Guy”, running back Joseph Randle’s latest arrest for possession of marijuana could not have come at a worse time. Actually, it’s probably more idiotic than shoplifting underwear. Even if you are “420” friendly, it’s a moment when you have to look at the big picture.
At 23 years old, you’re second on the running back depth chart and the starter is an unrestricted free agent. You have to prepare to compete with Ryan Williams from the practice squad and future roster additions from the draft or free agency.
Your playing experience should give you an edge over a rookie, so keep your head low and you’re the next starting running back for the Dallas Cowboys. The job is yours to lose! In a few months, your name will be mentioned alongside: Tony Dorsett, Herschel Walker, Emmitt Smith, DeMarco Murray and Marion Barber.
Randle may have altered the Cowboys offseason strategy. His irresponsibility could make signing Murray or drafting a running back a necessary option. At 3 am, you don’t belong in a hotel room arguing with your child’s mother, around marijuana (pot, bud, weed, cannibis, loud, kush, chronic, sticky icky, ganja, hay) and jeopardizing your future and NFL career.
Randle, instead of arguing at 3 am, join the billions of men that have learned to say – “Yeah baby, you’re right.” – even when she’s wrong. Then, head to a 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Planet Fitness or Bailey’s Powerhouse Gym – someplace with weights or a treadmill and get bigger, faster and stronger.
Prepare to break the records that Murray set last year. Prepare to help the Dallas Cowboys hoist that Lombardi trophy on February 7th, 2016. That’s how you become – The Right Kind of Guy and beloved in the eyes of Cowboy Nation.